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November 15, 2015

Tapas For Two

By guest contributor Roberto Stepanovich

Sometimes, when a couple has been married for a long time, they fall into patterns that are hard to break out of because they are too comfortable and too easy for both parties. Sometimes these are behavioral patterns, but sometimes these are patterns of eating the same things over and over. In an attempt to (literally) add more spice to our lives, my wife began subscribing to TryTheWorld.com, where every month we receive a box of foods from foreign countries. These foods are usually some spices, sauces, condiments, small desserts and, sometimes, the beginnings of entrees that require some additional ingredients.

So far, we have received boxes from France, Japan, Morocco and Spain. Over the course of these months, we have tried some of these items and enjoyed most of them.

A few years ago, we spent a wonderful week in Barcelona. Although we had heard of tapas previously, it wasn’t until we ate in Barcelona that we fully appreciated the concept. It is several small servings of different foods that combine to make up a complete meal. Some with meat, chicken, fish and shellfish, and vegetables, all prepared in various and delicious ways. In the U.S., there are plenty of places that serve Mexican food but not many that serve authentic food from Spain. Eating tapas is the way that the Spanish people eat and we loved it.

Today, my wife decided to delve in the box from Spain and prepare some tapas for us. Although she is a good cook, it isn’t something that she does often, as we both lead busy lives. But today, she is making an special effort and preparing several tapas for us: my favorite, patatas bravas (roasted potatoes in a spicy sauce), atĂșn escabeche crostini (marinated tuna on toast), and if we are still hungry, pan con tomate (a tomato based sauce on toasted baguettes with some sliced tomatoes), all enjoyed with glasses of one of our favorite wines. All of these dishes use items found in the TryTheWorld box we received. The scents of these foods being prepared is wafting through the house as I type this.

We both loved being in Barcelona and this meal will remind us both of the great time we had there. Knowing how much we enjoyed these meals and having her taking the time and effort to make them for us is only one of the reasons why I love and appreciate my wife so much. If variety is the spice of life, this is a great way to celebrate it.

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